Bully for Mrs. Black

We are all born knowing who we are. But far too often, the first bullies to teach us that we must keep parts of ourselves hidden are the adults we trust.

In pre-Kindergarten, I was that girl who loved to dance.

Lots of children move to music. It’s a natural human impulse. But tell that to my vile teacher, Mrs. Black. She ruled her pre-K classroom with an iron fist.

From day one, Mrs. Black and I had differing opinions. She thought that four and five year-olds should clean up the classroom by the count of five; to me, this seemed downright draconian. She sent home a note in my lunchbox, suggesting that I might have learning differences because I did not yet tie my shoes; as my mother explained to her, this was because no other lefty had ever shown me how. And I was already reading and writing, for god’s sake. How many accomplishments must a four year old have under her belt?

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